The promise of Christian discipleship today
Christianity is founded on the teachings and works of Christ Jesus. The Bible shows that Jesus established His Church on the foundation of Christ healing, instructing His disciples to go into the world and heal. Can a 21st century Christian disciple learn to heal like Jesus, and thereby prove practically that Christ is the foundation of the Church?
The word disciple is taken from the Latin ‘discipulus,’ meaning student, follower – one who learns. Jesus chose as His disciples, those whom He discerned were willing to learn. Then, He qualified them, by enabling them to learn. Mark 16: 20 reminds that as the disciples went on their healing mission, the Lord worked with them and confirmed their word ‘with signs following’. The disciples learnt Jesus’ precepts or teachings and put into practice what they were learning.
The author of Science and Health with key to the Scriptures, Mary Baker Eddy, writes that the disciples’ healing work – the twelve and then the seventy- was a result of their cultivated spiritual understanding, rather than being an exclusive supernatural gift reserved for a selected few. After all, Jesus says that the same signs of healing shall follow anyone who believes (Mark 16: 17).
Eddy explains that the revelation of the Science of Christianity is twofold— gaining the spiritual sense of the Scriptures through the teachings of the promised Comforter, and proving, through practical demonstration, the ever-operative power of God to heal today as in the time of Jesus.
Christian discipleship includes the practical manifestation of God as Love, healing the sick and sinning in the 21st century.
Aptly, Eddy says that anyone willing to symbolically ‘leave their nets, or cast them on the right side’ – Christ’s side – by walking in Jesus’ footsteps, and doing His promised works, is a Christian disciple. The good news is that Christ is working with every sincere disciple, confirming their word practically with ‘signs following’ today, as it was in Jesus’ day.
Solanke is of the Christian Science Committee on Publication for Nigeria West